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    Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

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    TaintedWisdom
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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by TaintedWisdom on Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:30 am

    Aerith smiled and said, "Zack, you always were a charmer, and now I know you couldn't write back because you were trapped." She looked at the plate above them and said, "It still doesn't change the sheer volume of worry and pain I went through when you couldn't respond." She turned to face him and said, "I want to forgive you immediately, especially seeing as it wasn't your fault, but I just...I just can't no matter how much I want to. Over the first year I stayed up so many nights, worrying about you, sometimes even crying myself to sleep thinking you had moved on with another girl and just hadn't told me. I told myself that you wouldn't ever do that, not without at least letting me know, but the silence was deafening. I knew you weren't dead because I didn't feel your spirit go back to the planet, so I couldn't fathom what was going on. I wrote 89 letters over a five year period, praying that one of them would reach you and you'd respond...but you never did. I had to let you go Zack...to keep clinging to you would have destroyed me, it was about nine months ago I finally let go of you Zack, and tried not to think about your disappearance and focused on my flowers. I had been doing it for four years straight, after the first year that is. Believe me, I don't want to feel this way like I can't forgive you for something that isn't even your fault, but I can't help it." She shook her head quickly and said, "And yet I want to forgive you right now and hold you and never let go, because I know it wasn't your fault...please just give me time...I need it to figure all of this out...and my own feelings. I do want to know if you know what they were doing to you and your friend in those experiments."

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by SAga4000 on Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:21 am

    "You sure?" Zack asked. Aerith then lifted her index finger and said, "How about one date?" Zack blinked twice, confused for a moment and then he remember saying the exact words to her back when they first met as teenagers.
    "Alright, one then." He slowly stood up as she walked back to the flower patch, to put on her boots. He knew this wasn't a real date, but more like a moment for reminiscing and answering questions that needed to be answered.

    One hour later,

    "So you did get my last letter." Aerith stated.
    "Yeah." Zack replied as they continued on strolling down near the sector five market. "And Shin-Ra was the reason why you couldn't write to me all this time?"
    Zack nodded,
    "Yeah, my friend and I, we were kept in Shin-Ra manor and experimented on for five years, till I broke us out and came here."
    "So I see..."
    "A lot has changed hasn't it?" Zack asked.
    "A lot can change in five years." She answered. "I honestly didn't expect to see you again. I'd thought you found someone else and decided to forget about me."
    Zack immediately turned to her and said, "And why would I do that?"
    "I've noticed that you tend to be too friendly with other girls."
    "Oh really? Why you noticed? You jealous?"
    "Stop it."
    "Okay, okay. Listen, I know you're probably not going to believe me, but I mean it when I say it. You're one of a kind Aerith."

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by TaintedWisdom on Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:03 am

    Aerith shouldered her basket and went to the train and got on to head to Sector Three.  She sat down in a seat and held a letter in her hand...it was the last one he had sent her before he disappeared five years ago.  She sighed and slipped it into her basket.  She thought, "Why have I kept this letter all these years?  Why is he coming to me now?  I made it clear that I couldn't wait around for him any longer.  Did he really not get the letter, or did he just ignore it and come back anyways?"  She shook her head and thought, "No, I mustn't think about these things now, smiling time, I need to sell flowers to keep my house afloat."  The security scan went on.  She shivered as she hated that red light.  As it finished, some thug ran by her.  He snatched her basket and dashed out the door.  Aerith gave chase quickly and hit him over the head with her staff, picked up her basket and realized she was in sector two, "Oh well, I guess I can do Sector Two today, I haven't been here for over a couple weeks, maybe there are some new customers."  She got her dress straightened and looked back at the thug then shrugged and walked off to sell flowers in Sector two.

    About fourteen hours later she came back to her church at Sector Five and slipped out of her boots and sat down on one of the benches that used to serve for the faithful back in the day and rested her feet.  She saw that Zack was sitting on one of the benches.  She thought, "Well may as well get this part over with."  She stood up and walked over to him in her bare feet and walked through the flower patch without stepping on a single flower.  Being a Cetra she was in tune with nature after all.  She stopped in front of him, "Alright, I'm done selling today, if you want to talk, we can talk."

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by SAga4000 on Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:55 am

    "Wait, what happened to the flower wagons I made you?" Zack asked. Aerith stopped and turned then said,
    "I had to sell them. Especially that third one you made. I kept getting stopped for it, because it looked too much like a weapon."
    Zack slumped over in disappointment, out all three flower wagons he made, the third one was his favorite.
    Aerith blinked twice for a moment then took a deep breath before she turned around and walked out of the church.


    Last edited by SAga4000 on Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:10 am; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by TaintedWisdom on Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:51 am

    Aerith stared at him for a moment, then said, "It's nice to see you are still alive Zack, of course I knew that as I never felt your spirit return to the planet.  Be that as it may, I don't really have time to reminisce with you.  I have work to get to."  She knelt and found some ready flowers and carefully picked them, then cut the end diagonally and slipped it into a water vial and began to do the same with about twenty more of them.  She stared at his look of shock and said, "It isn't like I have a Soldier salary like you get, or the gil from killing monsters, this is how I earn my living.  I don't see why you are so shocked, it was your idea after all.  I wasn't planning to make it my living choice, just for extra gil at first, but when I couldn't get a regular job I had to earn my living with them."  She placed the flowers in her basket and left the church.  She began making her way towards Sector Three, she had sold to Sector Eight the previous day.


    Last edited by TaintedWisdom on Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:18 am; edited 2 times in total

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by SAga4000 on Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:43 am

    Aerith's eyes narrowed suspiciously before they widened in disbelief.
    "Zack...?"
    "Yeah, sorry, I'll step out of your flowers."
    "..." Aerith blinked twice as he moved over, carefully while trying avoid as much flowers as possible.
    Zack then looked at her and added, "You look...different."
    "It's been four years."
    "I see you're still wearing the pink ribbon I bought you."
    "I said I would never take it off." She added as she slowly lowered her staff,
    "Right..."



    Last edited by SAga4000 on Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:50 am; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by TaintedWisdom on Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:25 am

    Tifa sighed then said, "Stay here Cloud, That idiot...even after warning him."  She was about to race after him when Cloud caught her hand and shook his head, "Leave him be for now Tifa."

    Tifa stared at him and moved away from him, "Like you have any right to tell me what to do!  You hid yourself from me, you think I would have cared that you didn't make it into Soldier?  I'd have been happy just to know you were alive and well.  It would have made those few days much better knowing you were around Cloud.  I thought you had abandoned me, why should I believe anything you say to me now?"

    Cloud lowered his head as she huffed and went to the elevator, "Do what you want Cloud."  She pressed a button and the elevator lowered.  Cloud held out his hand and said, "Tifa, wait!"  He went to the elevator and pulled the lever, but Tifa had jammed it from the bottom, leaving Cloud upstairs alone.

    Meanwhile...

    Aerith dashed into the church and glanced out the window then sighed in relief, "Looks like those people didn't follow me, thank goodness."  She turned to her flowers and froze, someone was sleeping...not near them but ON them.  Her face went into a frown and she walked up then whacked the guy off the flowers and shouted, "Hey!  Don't sleep on my flowers you jerk, that's how I make my living, poor things."  She knelt by the flowers and touched them and saw they were wilted.  She scowled and a green light hit the flowers healing them.  She then began walking towards the man, "I don't know who you are, but you hurt my flowers, that was not nice...wait a minute..." She stared at him and lowered her staff looking at him, she waited for him to explain himself.


    Last edited by TaintedWisdom on Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:47 am; edited 1 time in total

    SAga4000
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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by SAga4000 on Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:17 am

    "Don't worry about it, thanks for looking out for me. But I don't plan on staying here long. There was a reason why I came here." Zack replied as he pulled out the ninety-eighth and finalletter Aerith had written to him. During the time he'd been held and experimented on in Shin-Ra Manor.
    "I gotta see her."
    "Who?" Cloud asked. Zack turned to his friend for a moment and said, "A girl who said she was scared of the sky."
    "Zack?"
    "Well, I gotta go, stay safe Cloud!"
    "Zack--!"
    Zack left the bar and headed over toward the Sector Five church before anyone of them could stop him.

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by TaintedWisdom on Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:07 am

    Tifa said, "Zack...I hate to be the bearer of some bad news, but given the state you were in when Cloud brought you to me, I don't think you should go anywhere for the time being. You may be healed, but...well I think Shinra is after you for some reason." She held up a bullet one of the ones that had come out of his body, "I don't know why they are after you, but these are bullets from the M-29 rifle...a gun used by the militia of Shinra. If you were shot that many times, they wanted you dead, and regardless of what happened in Nibelheim, I cannot allow you to leave here. If you were to die, I'd feel responsible for not stopping you, unless you have some sort of plan."

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by SAga4000 on Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:03 am

    "I'm just as surprised as you are. But Cloud really did it." Zack added with a smile on his face. "He can defeat Sephiroth, then I'm sure that he'll make an excellent member in your team!"

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by TaintedWisdom on Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:00 am

    Tifa's eyes went wider and she looked at him, "You were there...you really did come to save me...but...wait a minute you're telling me Cloud defeated Sephiroth? How is that even possible? Why didn't you..."

    Cloud shook his head and said, "I was ashamed...I never made Soldier, not even third class. After all I said to you, I couldn't make it. I hid my face from everyone in Nibelheim..."

    Tifa looked at Zack and said, "How is it possible someone who didn't make it to even third class managed to defeat Sephiroth when you couldn't even scratch him...it doesn't make any sense at all."

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by SAga4000 on Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:57 am

    Zack blinked twice and said,
    "Well, Cloud and I met on a mission to Modeoheim. We talked and we found out that we were both country boys, so we clicked and became friends. I don't know what really happened to Sephiroth, other than that Cloud finished him off."
    "That's not possible Cloud was nowhere in Nibelheim--"
    "Wait, he didn't tell you? Cloud was one of the two infantrymen with us."
    "What?"
    "Oh...I get now!"
    "What are you talking about?"
    "Cloud hid from you because he never made SOLDIER and he was too ashamed to face you!"
    Cloud's eyes widen as he stood behind and he looked away awkwardly.

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by TaintedWisdom on Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:48 am

    Tifa saw the elevator coming up and saw that Zack and Cloud were riding it. She didn't say much as Zack went towards the door. She then saw his hand on the door knob and she said, "Hold it Soldier boy." She jumped over the counter and walked up to him and looked him right in the eyes, "I have a few questions and I may have only this moment to ask them...what happened after Nibelheim burned down? Why are you and I still alive and when did you meet Cloud? What happened to Sephiroth?"

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by SAga4000 on Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:46 am

    Zack paused for a moment and then said,
    "Cloud, I know you mean well but I dunno about this. Part of me wants to keep on fighting, at the same time. I'm well tired of it all, I wanna move on with my life. You get what I mean?"
    "Yeah." He replied.
    "If wanna join them to stop Shin-Ra, go for it. It's a good cause. Especially if it feels right to you. Remember always trust your gut instinct!"
    "So you're not interested?"
    "I would say, not this time round." Zack turned and put on the spare dark blue zip up sleeveless turtle neck shirt and jacket.
    "Your sword is right there." Cloud added. Zack turned toward the Buster Sword, that his former mentor Angeal Hewley had passed down to him on his death, by Zack's own hands. He walked over toward it and slowly lifted it up, before he pressed the front flat side of the blade to his forehead in a symbolic manner and repeated his late mentor's mantra,
    "Embrace your dreams. And, whatever happens, protect your honor as SOLDIER." He slowly opened his eyes and said,
    "I had dreams to be a hero once, and I thought Shin-Ra was the answer, but then I realized that being a hero--" Zack pounded on the left side of his chest, "--Comes from in here. SOLDIER doesn't mean hero."
    Cloud paused for a moment and asked,
    "So you're not going to join us?"
    "Not this time round." Zack walked over toward him and placed his hand on Cloud's shoulder and said,
    "Good luck with your life Cloud. Don't get killed. You hear me?"
    "You too." Cloud replied.

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by TaintedWisdom on Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:31 am

    Tifa went back behind the bar and began to do automatic chores. She didn't even really know what to think of all of this. She wanted to believe him when he said he was sorry, but he had no idea just how much it had hurt her, watching her town burn to the ground and her father die.

    Cloud looked at Zack and said, "From what Tifa has told me, they only target Shinra installations, trust me, they start going after civilians and I will stop supporting them right away, good money or not. Besides Zack what else do we really have to do at this point? We have no real leads as to what is going on since Nibelheim, at the very least we can stay with them until we find a better situation."

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by SAga4000 on Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:25 am

    Zack turned and then saw her. The tour guide that had shown him and Sephiroth the way to the reactor in Nibelheim before Sephiroth went insane.
    "Thanks Tifa." Zack replied.
    "...You're welcome."
    Tifa then turned around and started to make her way upstairs.
    Then Zack felt he had to say it,
    "Tifa, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for everything that's happened to you."
    She froze for a moment before she turned toward the elevator and returned upstairs. Cloud turned to him for a moment and then said,
    "Actually, she's a part of an Anti Shin-Ra group, and I've joined them. I was wondering if you would too?"
    Zack paused for a moment and then he said,
    "I dunno Cloud? First Shin-Ra, the Wutai War and the fight we had with Genesis, Angeal and Sephiroth. Don't get me wrong, I still wanna be a hero, but I want to be the kind that helps people and not kill civilians."

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by TaintedWisdom on Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:04 am

    Upstairs Tifa wiped glasses still a bit in a daze. Downstairs were blasts from her past...she thought they had both perished in Nibelheim. She was still unsure as to what the black haired Soldier's intentions were. She shook her head and thought, "Be that as it may, I will just have to keep my eye on him and keep Cloud with me as much as possible." She then pulled a lever and made the elevator come back up. She then get on and lowered the elevator. She walked up to both of them and placed a uniform down in front of Zack, "I...thought you could...use some new clothes." She was in her standard mini skirt and white shirt combo that was one of her favorite outfits.

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by SAga4000 on Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:56 am

    Cloud turned and was shocked to see her there, he didn't know what to say to her either.


    Three days later,

    Zack made a grimace as he slowly opened his eyes and sat up.
    "Huh?" He stopped and looked down to see that his wounds were gone. A few seconds later he turned and heard the platform going down and then he saw Cloud, still dressed in a SOLDIER uniform, with a few modifications.
    "Cloud? Looking good." He continued.
    "You too." He replied.
    "I probably look worst for wear--where are we?"
    "In Midgar."
    "Are you serious?! How did--"
    "I carried you all the way here."
    "You did?! Thanks buddy I owe you one."
    "Yeah..."
    Zack turned and saw the look on his face and then slowly turned toward the edge of the mattress. He leaned forward slightly and asked,
    "What's on your mind?"
    "I--" Cloud immediately shook his head and took a deep breath,
    "We're in a bar called 7th Heaven."
    "Oh really? A bar?...huh looks pretty empty to be a bar to me."
    "This isn't the bar, it's...the underground room."
    "Underground...so it's like a secret planning room or something like that?"
    "Yeah."
    "So cool!" Zack said excitedly as he stood up and walked around, his trousers rustled in the motion. "Hey we should start our mercenary business this way! Whaddya say?! Yeah, I can picture it! The office on the top and the weapon's room in the bottom and we'll be only ones who can access it!"

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by TaintedWisdom on Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:41 am

    Tifa inserted a green materia into her glove and cast Cure, which pushed the bullets out of Zack's body via magic and closed up his wounds with a second Cure. She took a close look at him, the man was pale, but he would make it. She sighed in relief then saw that Jessie had patched up Cloud. She was still in shock that Cloud had come to her of all people and to Midgar of all places as well. She didn't even know what to say to him, or how to react.

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by SAga4000 on Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:38 am

    Tifa heard Zack wincing and hissing in pain, as he flinched each time she tried to get the bullets out of him.
    "He's moving too much! Barret I need your help!"
    "I ain't doing nothin' for Shin-Ra scum like them!"
    "Barret!"
    "All right! Move it! We don't got any knock out medicine, so I'll do it the old fashion way!" Barret immediately whacked Zack on the side of the head, knocking him out before Tifa could even stop him. Satisfied at what he did, Barret turned and walked away, leaving Tifa to it.

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    Re: Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by TaintedWisdom on Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:47 am

    Tifa clenched her fists as she beat down a monster in her path.  She heard someone yell her name.  Swiftly she spun and kicked, stopping her kick at the last second, "Cloud?"  Her mind went completely blank, she felt herself unable to breathe for a moment, and could hardly think.  It was then that she noticed blood stained clothing on one of the two men and she swore she saw blood on the other, but that could have been from him carrying the wounded guy.  She went into an automatic state and took Zack from Cloud and carried him towards Seventh Heaven.  It wasn't far as they were in Sector Seven already.  She opened the door and shouted, "Barret get your butt out here, we have wounded men here."

    Barret came lumbering out and then said, "Tifa ya outta yer mind?  It's a SOLDIER!"  he pointed his gunarm, "I'll do it quick an painless as a mercy!"

    Tifa said, "I don't care about that Barret, they are wounded, that's all that matters here!"

    Barret lowered his gunarm, "Upstart cheeky little #$@#$ fine...put the bastard on a blanket, no way he's gettin his tainted blood on my sheets."

    Tifa laid Zack on a blanket that Jessie put out for them.  Tifa was still in shock to see that Cloud himself had shown up.  Her mind was still completely blank and she found she couldn't even say anything to him at the moment.  As such she focused on Zack's wounds and tried to deal with that first.  Jessie went to Cloud and took him aside and said, "I'm going to check you out...I mean over."  She blushed very slightly before she said, "Shirt off please, I need to find your injuries to treat them."

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    Final Fantasy VII: Virtus

    Post by SAga4000 on Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:48 pm

    Rain poured everywhere, the helmets of the Shin-Ra troops laid all over the muddy ground. A pair of SOLDIER boots tread through the wet ground. Blood trickled down his lips as he carried his blonde spiky haired companion beside him. His friend was able to walk now, and that was a good sign.

    "Hang on there Cloud...we'll be there soon." He said to his recovering Mako-poisoned friend.

    Within a few hours, the pair finally made it back to lower plate and Zack finally sat Cloud down beside him.

    Cloud slowly turned his head toward his friend and stared at him. "Don't worry...I just need to rest my eyes for a few minutes."

    "Z-Zack..." Cloud spoke slowly as he started to get up. His motor skills were still weak, but he made an effort to put one of Zack's arms around his shoulder and pull him up. Soon the two started walking again. Hoping to find a place where they could stay?

    Meanwhile the Turks had made it to the last spot where they were seen and saw the carnage. Tseng knelt down and looked at the muddy footprints,

    "They headed to Midgar a few hours ago."

    "Should we go after them?" Cissnei asked him.

    Tseng looked at the container he had, it was filled with all the eighty-eight letters that Aerith had wrote to Zack,

    "Yes. I still have a delivery to make."

    Cissnei continued on staring at Tseng and the container he had underneath his arm. She had seen the names written on the envelope, Aerith.

    'Why are you going after her?'

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